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Iraq Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 19, 2005

This Public Announcement advises Americans of the December 15 national elections taking place in Iraq, as well as the Department of State's concerns about the security environment surrounding the upcoming elections. This Public Announcement supplements the Travel Warning of June 28, 2005, and expires on January 13, 2006.

National elections will take place in Iraq on December 15, 2005. The Iraqi government has announced that from midnight on Monday, December 12 until 0700 on Saturday, December 17, all land borders and airports will be closed. Travel across provincial boundaries within Iraq will also be prohibited. A curfew will be in place during this period from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. each day. Government ministries and offices also are expected to be closed during this period.

During this period, the potential for increased violence remains extremely high. The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq and remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests in Iraq. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. In the lead-up to the elections, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has instructed official Americans throughout Iraq to limit their travel as much as possible. The Department of State recommends that all Americans living and working in Iraq take similar steps to limit their movements, observe the strictest of security measures, and defer any unnecessary travel around the country.

The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone. The Embassy can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq. At present, travel to and from the International Zone is extremely limited. American citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Public Announcement and the current Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security and to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq. All Americans in Iraq are strongly encouraged to register with the Embassy at the following website: https://travelregistration.state.gov/IBRS/.

American citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by calling the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, at: 1-240-553-0584, ext. 5340 or ext. 5635, or Iraqna cellular phones: 7901-732-134 or 7901-168-383 or by E-mail: usconsulbaghdad@state.gov or via the U.S. Embassy's website: http://iraq.usembassy.gov. In the event of an extreme emergency after hours, please call 1-914-822-5493.

Updated information on travel and security in Iraq may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Travel Warning for Iraq, the Consular Information Sheet for Iraq, the current Worldwide Caution and the Middle East and North Africa Public Announcements, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel/state.gov.

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